Sunday, 4 October 2015

Remembering . . . Poppies in Yorkshire

Last year there was a magnificent display of ceramic poppies in the moat of the Tower of London. Each poppy represented a man from the Commonwealth who had fallen during World War 1. It was an amazing display and proved very popular. Sadly, I was unable to make the trip to London to see the piece of artwork, but saw many photos of it.

Now, some (not all) of the poppies are touring different places in the UK, one being the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP). As we did not get to London and YSP is on our doorstep we took a trip to see them.

The blood shed, flowing freely... is incredibly moving to see the vast number of poppies, each one representing a man 100 years ago just like my husband, my father, my friends and my cousins. 

An opportunity to remember those who've gone before who paid the ultimate sacrifice so we can live in the peace, comfort and freedom in the UK of today. 

Remembering my grandfather, great grandfathers, great uncles, great, great uncles who's lives were impacted by what they saw and experienced during the World Wars.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Book Review - The History & Topography of Bradford, (in the County of York)

I have been looking into a bit of this history behind the city in which I live recently and by accident through a random Google search for meaning of the street name "Ivegate" in Bradford, came across this book on Google Books...

The History & Topography of Bradford, (in the County of York) with Topographical Notices of It's Parish by John James 1841

I wanted to make some notes about the interesting facts which I read, so although this blog post is primarily for my own reference you may also find it of interest.

  • Gate ie Westgate/Kirkgate/Ivegate is not a reference to a gate in a city wall but means a "street"

  • There was a building at the junction of Ivegate, Kirkgate & Westgate which was the original toll booth, in which John Nelson was imprisoned in the dungeons for preaching

  • lies in a valley which is a branch of Airedale (Aire river valley), otherwise known as Bradford Dale with the beck running from Thornton to Shipley with a considerable bend in the beck in the centre
  • is the seat of four valleys
  • is in a bowl with hill ridges surrounding about a 2 mile radius of the city centre, each side has a quick descent into the town
  • beck or brook has diminished over time, so the once "Broad" ford is now a lesser crossing, the once wooded valley would have had more water running through it due to the woods and the coal mines have probably drained more of the water into the land which once ran through the city in the becks
The 3 main brooks are:
  1. Bowling Beck which rises above Bolling Hall - in the Roughs or Parkside between Bowling & Bierley, which feeds a pond below Bolling Hall - the brook passed through Cuckoo Bridge, a single arched bridge (but now Britannia House stands on it's site - see Bradford Heritage Tour)
  2. Source is at Bradford Moor, taking in a small stream at Laisterdyke and another from above the Bowling Iron Works
  3. the Bradford beck - the chief stream, begins at Bell Dean or Old Allen in Allerton and is joined by Horton Beck at Shearbridge

In it's past there have been numerous floods of the town, two significant floods were:
  1. 1768 when the bridge was swept away
  2. 20th December 1837 which caused significant damage

  • The iron manufactured at Low Moor, Bowling & Bierley is esteemed the best of the kingdom - limestone was transported from Skipton via the Leeds-Liverpool & Bradford canals to the iron works.
  • Thatch was probably rarely used in Bradford due to the source of good quality stone and slate available naturally in the area.
  • Agriculture was poor, all that was grown was to be eaten by the people who grew it & not to be sold, cattle was kept for milk & butter but cheese was not produced.
  • Manufacturing was most common with the use of looms.

Plagues/sickness epidemics rarely hit the town, which was deemed to be due to the good westerly winds which blew over the town.  Some epidemics to note are:
  • 1665/6 the black plague - from a bag of old clothes which arrived from elsewhere in the country. The stricken were sent to Cliffe Barn, near Cliffe Wood & recovered were expected to care for the sick
  • 1675 the Jolly Rant - a severe cold and cough
  • 1832 Asiatic Cholera
  • Jan & Feb 1837 Influenza killed many

Roman Roads:
  • Manchester to Ilkley - after leaving Black Stone Edge, leave Halifax on the right and Ellinworth (Illingworth?) on the left, through Dinham Park (Denholme Park?) to the west of Cullingworth and Hainsworth
  • Bradford to Wakefield - via Dudley Hill, places with Street in the name often refer to places close by to a Roman Road ie Tong Street

It is interesting to note that - Bradford suffered few plagues or sickness epidemics?

Hallyng = a meadow of the manor of Bradford
Further research shows:

  • Ings (OED) = meadow near watercourse, therefore possibly swampy
  • Ing (Old English) = hill
  • Inga = "the people of" or "family & followers" ie Birmingham - homestead (ham) of a family of a man called Beorma
  • Ing = place of ie Hawkinge (Kent) - place frequented by hawks
I wonder where this meadow would have been in relation to the now street name Hall Ings and it sounds as if it was a meadow next to or nearby the hall which was near the becks and possibly slightly swampy.

Bradford had a Fulling Mill where cleansing of the wool from oils & dirts happened, but it was open to every house. There was also a water mill with access for every house.

There was a reference to a Bolleshagh which I wonder if this place has any relation to the current area of Bowling (or Bolling) & the hall their?

Sunday, 25 January 2015

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 69 - What is my most treasured possession?

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

My great, great grandmother's wedding jug

Week 69 - What is my most treasured possession?

I have had to think about this a lot, well, what is my most treasured possession? I am not sure whether I have a MOST treasured possession but I certainly have a few possessions which are treasured by me, these are:

  • my laptop - all my family history research is stored on here (as well as backed up elsewhere), so I would want all that work to be passed onto someone who would like to continue it or be interested in the work I have already done

  • my leather bound bible - this was a 21st birthday present from my grandparents who are no longer with us, there is a beautiful inscription in the front cover which was written by my grandfather and means a lot to me

  • my great, great grandmother's wedding jug - the only heirloom I have from my mother's side of the family

  • my great grandmother's engagement ring - a beautiful ring which I wear occasionally for special occasions

Sunday, 11 January 2015

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 68 - Memory Tree

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 68 - Memory Tree

Think of those who are no longer with us, who would appear on your memory tree (ie friends, family, pets, colleagues etc)

There are many people who would appear on my memory tree, some I feel I cannot share publicly but here are a few of the ones I wish to share:
  • My grandparents, all 4 of them. I was lucky to have a good relationship with all my grandparents in different ways. One of my grandfather's is still living although he has dementia and does not recognise me any longer, so although he is still with us - he also isn't, so I miss who he was. My paternal grandmother inspired me in my family history research, she would talk to me for hours about her cousins and auntie's and uncle's.  My maternal grandfather I would sit and chatter nonsense with him for hours and he would just listen. He was a source of great wisdom and had a deep faith. My maternal grandmother was also always there for me, she would keep me well fed with lovely home-cooked food especially during my student days. 
  • Dusky, my pet house rabbit, who lived to a ripe old age of 8 years old - he was such a cheeky rascal of a rabbit in his youthful days. He would jump onto the sofas & run around the living room, chewing wires, rugs, chairs, boots, throws & cushions! We once left him with my parents for 3 months whilst we went travelling and when we returned he would come and sit in my lap, it felt as if he had really missed us and was very endearing.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 67 - What are your priorities?

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 67 - What are your priorities?

Quote from American author, Kathleen Winsor:

"Most people are so busy knocking themselves out trying to do everything they think they should do, they never get around to do what they want to do."

So, what are the things I would like to achieve and why? What are the things I want to do?

My biggest priority and passion in life is caring for my family, so I do spend a lot of time cooking, cleaning & washing, but I also try to make sure spending time with my baby comes first. Fortunately cooking is one of my biggest passions in life and eating delicious, nutritious & home cooked food. I would love to be able to teach people how make meals from scratch, to show that it is not hard or challenging and often can taste as nice as, if not nicer than the sugar/salt pumped ready made options available to us in the supermarkets. 

My other 2 major passions in life are:
  • my family history research, which does get side-lined due to family commitments and work these days.
  • my faith, so being involved with community groups within my locality is important to me as well.
Another priority in life is my job and career as an Optometrist, which has had to be scaled back in recent months to make my family life more of a priority, but it is still there on the back burner waiting for me to have more time to come back to it, in future years.

The quote above so describes me and my life, I often want to have a go at doing everything but have recently come to the conclusion that I cannot do everything properly so have been trying to scale back the things which I am doing so as to spend more time with my family and being able to do fewer things properly. For example I think my blogging will be scaling back this year to prioritise doing more actual physical family history research and also finishing the book about my Davidson family history that I have been writing since 2012. 

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 66 - What do you treasure?

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 66 - What do you treasure?

A treasured memory of my grandparents
My treasure in life is my family and close friends, these are the people who mean so much to me and have taught and teach me so much through walking my life with them by my side. These are the people I learn new things from daily, who show me love, compassion and support when I most need it, the people who I can argue with or disagree with but with no love lost. I would not be the person I am now without these people around me.

I also treasure the memories I have with those people and especially with the family and friends who are no longer with us. The good memories of those periods of time which I will never relive, of holidays, gap years, university late nights chatting, playing board games with my family, weddings and other joyous events.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 65 - Colleges and Universities

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 65 - Colleges and Universities

Graduating as
Ruth Hogan BSc (Hons) MCOptom
I attended both university and 6th form college, with a gap year placed in between.

At Haslingden High School 6th Form College I studied for A & AS levels in the subjects: Biology, Maths, Music, Chemistry, French and General Studies, quite a mixture of different subjects as I was not sure what I wanted to go on to do later. I loved music but felt I did not want to use this as a career path, but loved my maths and sciences.

I went onto Bradford University where I studied Optometry which was a very vocational degree leading me straight into my profession as an Optometrist. In this degree I used a lot of the maths and sciences which I had learnt at College towards my degree but continued to use the music side as a hobby, playing in the university orchestra and at the Christian Union.

Working in an African hospital
The languages I studied at College has always been useful for my love of travelling, even though French was not used it gave me a great basis to learn Portuguese and later other languages.

I do enjoy my career, looking back there may have been other things I could have done, but I think I made the correct choices in life.

I loved my studying days more with the social aspects of college and university life and would say this period in life is one of my favourites, although I think I seem to forget the stresses of exams, essays and the hard work studying was at times.